About the LL.M. Degree Program

What is an LL.M.?

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) is a degree in law for individuals who have already received a first degree in law (either the J.D. in the United States, or the equivalent from another country).

LL.M. is Latin for Legum Magister, signifying Master of Laws. In Latin abbreviations, the plural form of a word is indicated by doubling the letter - hence the "LL." is short for Laws. The word "legum" is the possessive plural form of the Latin word lex that means specific laws. When used in the plural, it signifies a specific body of laws, as opposed to the general collective concept embodied in the word "Jus," from which the word "Juris" and our modern English word "Justice" derive. In the feminine, i.e., for a female student, the expression is Legum Magistra.

How many students are in the LL.M. Program?

Each year Georgetown Law enrolls approximately 550 LL.M. students from between 60 and 70 countries and over 40 U.S. states and territories amongst our thirteen different specializations. Roughly two-thirds of these students are educated outside the U.S. and the other third have a J.D. degree from a law school in the United States.

The programs with the largest number of foreign trained students are General Studies, International Business & Economic Law and International Legal Studies. The program with the largest number of U.S. trained students is the LL.M. in Taxation.

How many credits does it take to complete an LL.M.?

Please view our curriculum guide for questions related to program credits.

How long does it take to complete the LL.M.?

Students pursuing the LL.M. on a full-time basis complete the program within two semesters, starting the last week of August and graduating in mid-May. Students pursuing the program on a part-time basis must complete the program within three years of matriculation. (In certain circumstances, part-time students may receive permission to extend their period of study). Please note that foreign-educated students typically enroll on a full-time basis unless they are in the United States on a visa status that permits part-time study.

How much does the LL.M. program cost?

The tuition rate tends to increase slightly each year. Tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year is as follows:

-Full Time: $78,422.00
-Part Time: $26,144.00 (Tuition is based on 4 credits/semester at $3,268.00/credit hour)

Full-time single students living in the Washington, DC area can expect living expenses for nine months to be approximately $32,028. Please note that these figures are not a financial aid budget. These amounts are an estimate of costs to help you in planning for your educational and living expenses.

Can I work while enrolled in a full-time graduate degree program?

The full-time program is demanding and designed to command all of the student's time during the academic year. All full-time students must carefully restrict their hours of employment, and in no event may a full-time student exceed 20 hours of employment per week during the academic year. Also, international students in the U.S. on student visas are very restricted with respect to on-and off-campus employment and must get prior written permission from the Visa Coordinator.

If I enter the program as a part-time LL.M. student may I transfer to full-time status?

If you are interested in changing your status after having received your letter of admission please send an email to lawllmadmis@georgetown.edu detailing the reasons for your request. The Office of Graduate Admissions will review your request and provide an answer in a timely fashion.

Can I transfer to the J.D. program from the LL.M. program?

No. LL.M. students cannot be admitted as transfer students to the J.D. program. LL.M. students interested in earning a J.D. must apply directly to the J.D. program as a new applicant, and must take the LSAT. However, students who graduated from Georgetown's LL.M. program who are admitted to the J.D. program may be able to apply up to 12 credits of their LL.M. coursework toward the J.D.

Does admission to the LL.M. program guarantee or assure admission into the S.J.D. program?

No. Candidacy for the S.J.D. program is competitive, and does not follow automatically from admission to the LL.M. program.

May I take graduate classes at Georgetown Law without enrolling in an LL.M. program?

Yes. Georgetown Law offers a comprehensive selection of graduate level law courses on a non-degree basis for lawyers who wish to deepen or broaden their legal knowledge without enrolling in an LL.M. degree program. Lawyers may do so by taking courses on a space-available basis. Note that the application for the Non-Degree program is handled by the Office of the Registrar.

Admissions Process

Does Georgetown Law offer "conditional admission" to its Graduate Programs?

No. Students must meet the prerequisites for admission (e.g., obtaining the required minimum TOEFL score for foreign students) before an offer of admission can be extended.

Does it help to apply early?

Yes. The Admissions Committee reviews files on a rolling basis and makes offers throughout the admissions cycle. Therefore, it is to your advantage to submit your application as early as possible within each admissions cycle, while the greatest number of spaces are still available.

When will I know the decision?

The Office of Graduate Admissions aims to extend decisions within 6-10 weeks of the date the application is complete.

Can I apply to more than one graduate degree program simultaneously?

No. Applicants should choose one LL.M. degree program and/or Certificate when they apply.

If I am admitted to one program, may I switch to another program if I prefer to do so?

To be considered for a program change, after receiving your letter of admission, you should send an email to lawllmadmis@georgetown.edu detailing the reasons for your request. In certain circumstances you may be asked to submit a new personal statement.

If I apply Early Action and am admitted, am I required to attend Georgetown?

No. Our Graduate Early Action option is non-binding. Students admitted Early Action will have until the same date as Regular Action admitted students to decide whether or not to attend Georgetown.

How do I reapply if I applied previously to a graduate program and was not accepted?

Candidates who did not receive an offer of admission may choose to reapply for admission in a later term. Although it is likely that an applicant will receive the same decision, in some cases applicants may receive a different determination because new or additional information is provided, or because the application is submitted earlier in the admissions cycle than in the prior year. Applications are maintained by the Graduate Admissions Office for one year only.

Admissions Requirements

Is there a grade cutoff for admission?

No. However, although Georgetown does not use numerical cutoffs, only candidates with strong academic and personal credentials are encouraged to apply. For applicants to specialized degree programs, grades in relevant courses are a factor. The Graduate Admissions Committee weighs non-quantifiable information to distinguish between applicants with similarly strong academic credentials, although personal information alone is seldom sufficient as a substitute for a strong academic record.

How many recommendations should I submit?

We require two letters of recommendation and do not recommend submitting more than three. These letters may come from former professors, previous supervisors or other individuals for whom you have worked. The most important thing is that the recommender be someone that has direct knowledge of your work product, ethic and potential for success in the program and in the future.

How should I format my Personal Statement?

We do not have any specific formatting requirements, nor word or page minimums, for your personal statement. However, please keep in mind that the admissions committee will review thousands of personal statements. Therefore, getting your message across in a concise manner will be to your advantage.

How long are TOEFL & IELTS scores valid?

Georgetown Law will accept TOEFL and IELTS scores which were taken within two years before the date of your LL.M. application submission.

Do you grant application fee waivers to graduate applicants?

No. In general, Georgetown Law does not grant fee waivers to those applying to our graduate programs. The only exceptions may be granted for current Georgetown J.D. students applying to the joint degree program, current Georgetown LL.M. students applying for a second LL.M., and current students studying at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies who wish to apply for the LL.M. program. Occasionally, fee waiver invitations may be sent to individuals who have attended particular recruiting events.

Academic Requirements

Can I get advanced standing for credit earned at another institution?

Georgetown Law does not award LL.M. credit for courses taken at another institution before matriculation at Georgetown Law. However, upon prior approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, and subject to certain restrictions, a cumulative maximum of 4 academic credits earned at other institutions while the student is an LL.M. student at Georgetown Law may be applied to the LL.M. degree.

Can I get advanced standing in a graduate program if I received my J.D. from Georgetown Law?

Students who received their J.D. degree from Georgetown Law within 3 years of matriculating in an LL.M. degree program may apply up to 6 academic credits earned while a J.D. student, provided those credits were in excess of the 85 credits required for the J.D. degree. Courses and grades involved will remain part of the J.D. record; advanced standing credit for specific courses will be applied to the LL.M. degree. The courses and grades will be entered on the transcript, but grades for those courses will not be included in the computation of the LL.M. grade point average. For part-time students, the maximum period of study allowed will be reduced by one semester if 4 or more credits are applied.

May I get advanced standing in a graduate program if I earned non-degree credits at Georgetown Law?

Students admitted to an LL.M. degree program at Georgetown Law may apply up to 8 non-degree academic credits that were earned at Georgetown Law within 2 academic years prior to matriculation in the degree program. The courses and grades will be entered on the transcript; the grades for those courses will be included in the computation of the LL.M. grade point average. The maximum period of study allowed for the degree will be reduced by one semester if 4 or more credits of advanced standing are applied.

Post Graduation

Is there career placement assistance for LL.M. students?

Yes. Located in the Office of Graduate Programs, the Office of Graduate Careers team serves as a valuable resource for LL.M. and Certificate students. For more information about the Office of Graduate Careers team, externships, interview programs and all other career related questions please visit the Office of Graduate Careers Webpage.

If I am a foreign educated student, can I take a bar exam after I earn my LL.M.?

Many of our LL.M. students who received their first degree in law in a foreign country choose to take a U.S. bar exam, usually the New York bar exam, upon completion of their LL.M. Your academic advisor will work with you to help you select the courses needed to qualify for the bar exam, as part of designing your overall course of study.